by Yaëlle Azagury

Heart of Darkness

Irène Némirovsky’s earliest tales.

David Golder, The Ball, Snow in Autumn, The Courilof Affair (Everyman’s Library, $25), is a collection of novellas by French Jewish writer Irène Némirovsky, now available for the first time in English in a translation by Sandra Smith, with an introduction by Claire Messud. Némirovsky’s tragic destiny is by now well known: Born in Kiev in 1903, she became a literary sensation in right-wing French literary salons in the inter-war years, converted to Catholicism, and was deported to Auschwitz where she died in 1942. Suite Française, one of Némirovsky’s last works and a portrayal of France in the months following the German invasion of France in May 1940, was miraculously recovered by her daughter and published in 2004, winning France’s prestigious Prix Renaudot.

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